Rich Chocolate Cupcakes


I like to bake. I wish I could do it more often. So any time I have a legitimate excuse to bake, I take advantage of it. This week we had both a departmental meeting at the library (which I usually try to make something for) and a birthday within the department. This warranted special baking, namely cupcakes. Normally I plan my recipes each week, but this was more of a last minute birthday cupcake so I had to work with what I had in the house, which did not include brown sugar, cocoa powder or an abundance of confectioner’s sugar.

Still I knew I wanted to make a chocolate cupcake and so I consulted my favorite cupcake cookbook, Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella. This cookbook is awesome for a couple reasons: 1.) every recipe I’ve tried has been good to absolutely amazing 2.) it provides very detailed information about decorating 3.) it also includes several indexes suggesting which icing recipes go best with which cupcake recipes or which cupcake recipes you can mix to make a marbleized cupcake. Despite the fact that I LOVE making cupcakes (who likes to bake and doesn’t like making cupcakes?), this is the only cupcake cookbook I actually own. I don’t need any others.

Here is the recipe for Rich Chocolate Cupcakes. I made 18 large cupcakes and 9 small ones with this recipe. I found the chocolate flavor to be less pronounced than in other recipes, but the texture of these cupcakes is spot on, super moist perfection.

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Insert liners into mini and/or medium cupcake pans.
  2. Place the butter and chocolate in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over them, and let stand until melted. Stir to combine. Stir in vanilla and sugar.
  3. Add the sour cream and mix on medium speed until fully integrated.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the batter, mixing at medium speed until smooth.
  6. In another bowl with clean beaters, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake mini cupcakes 10-15 minutes and medium cupcakes 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Normally I try to avoid making buttercream frostings because I have a habit of letting the butter get too warm. Then when I go to mix my sugar in the frosting just gets really soupy. It doesn’t taste bad, it is just really hard to decorate with, especially if I add food coloring because then it gets all granular looking. But I didn’t have any cream cheese (which I prefer and almost always opt for), so I cautiously attempted to adapt Castella’s Vanilla Frosting to an Almond Frosting by substituting the vanilla extract with almond extract. And it worked! While I thought it came out too sugary sweet, everyone else was raving about it.

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  1. Gradually add the sugar to the softened butter and cream together with an electric mixer.
  2. Stir in the almond and milk. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. Add a little bit more sugar or milk as needed.

I chose to top mine off with some espresso beans because it was simple and added another flavor element. A couple people told me the beans made the cupcake.


2 Responses to “Rich Chocolate Cupcakes”

  1. looks delish, like the deco/styling!

  2. I simply cannot express how incredible this cupcake was.

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